×

Beck

Beck (Santa Monica Civic Auditorium; 3,300 capacity; $ 15 top) Promoted by Goldenvoice. Reviewed Oct. 11, 1996. It seems 27-year-old L.A. singer-songwriter Beck Hansen never met a musical style he didn't like. When he told the packed Civic early in this show that he would be offering "a variety of favorites," he sure wasn't kidding. Unlike past tours, when Beck (he prefers just the one name) would spin completely different sets each night, he now is focused on perfecting a show that seems both spontaneous and old hat. Somehow mixing everything from techno, country, grindcore, R&B, hip-hop, punk, funk and other assorted junk, this gangly purveyor of what could be termed modern-retro takes the free-association wordplay of Bob Dylan and, with help from a wealth of samples as well as his four-piece backup band, twists enough musical references around the words to create a style that's his own and that's more alternative than anything on the radio. The gathered fans, who should know better than to be surprised by Beck's twisted sense anymore, did seem taken aback by many of his moves. Who wouldn't be confused by a guy who repeatedly shouts the name of his new "Odelay" (DGC/ Geffen/Bong Load) album, then proceeds to play "Beercan," a song from his "Mellow Gold" release? Or by a guy who executes a brilliant R&B revue number, then ends it with a growling vocal belch that would make Sam Kinison proud? Song highlights ranged from the absurd ("Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs") to the sublime ("Stagecoach," a throwback to an imaginary era cohabited by Jim Croce and the Blues Brothers) to the even more absurd ("Lord Only Knows," with its timeless lyric "I'm going back to Houston, to get me some pants"!) Lowlights included Beck's unfortunate, if sincere, harmonica tribute to Sonny Terry, as well as the straight-ahead and lifeless "Ramshackle," which was far too ordinary considering the rest of the evening's fare. A vital part of the 85-minute show were the mocking between-song non-sequiturs, in which Beck would send a shout-out to all the SoCal towns whose names amuse him ("This one's for North Hollywood. We don't go for no NoHo here!"), or he'd lead the crowd in meaningless chants of "Ooh, Sassoon" and "Jordache! Turn It Up!," sharing with the kids his obvious disdain for consumerism. Of course, his choice of country-western garb, especially the glittery square dance get-up, said volumes about his fashion sense. Maybe he should go back to the Thurston Howell/Capt. Stubing-styled mariner's outfit he favored earlier in the year. After all, Beck is nothing if not the captain of his own bizarre ship. Troy J. Augusto

Beck (Santa Monica Civic Auditorium; 3,300 capacity; $ 15 top) Promoted by Goldenvoice. Reviewed Oct. 11, 1996. It seems 27-year-old L.A. singer-songwriter Beck Hansen never met a musical style he didn’t like. When he told the packed Civic early in this show that he would be offering “a variety of favorites,” he sure wasn’t kidding. Unlike past tours, when Beck (he prefers just the one name) would spin completely different sets each night, he now is focused on perfecting a show that seems both spontaneous and old hat. Somehow mixing everything from techno, country, grindcore, R&B, hip-hop, punk, funk and other assorted junk, this gangly purveyor of what could be termed modern-retro takes the free-association wordplay of Bob Dylan and, with help from a wealth of samples as well as his four-piece backup band, twists enough musical references around the words to create a style that’s his own and that’s more alternative than anything on the radio. The gathered fans, who should know better than to be surprised by Beck’s twisted sense anymore, did seem taken aback by many of his moves. Who wouldn’t be confused by a guy who repeatedly shouts the name of his new “Odelay” (DGC/ Geffen/Bong Load) album, then proceeds to play “Beercan,” a song from his “Mellow Gold” release? Or by a guy who executes a brilliant R&B revue number, then ends it with a growling vocal belch that would make Sam Kinison proud? Song highlights ranged from the absurd (“Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs”) to the sublime (“Stagecoach,” a throwback to an imaginary era cohabited by Jim Croce and the Blues Brothers) to the even more absurd (“Lord Only Knows,” with its timeless lyric “I’m going back to Houston, to get me some pants”!) Lowlights included Beck’s unfortunate, if sincere, harmonica tribute to Sonny Terry, as well as the straight-ahead and lifeless “Ramshackle,” which was far too ordinary considering the rest of the evening’s fare. A vital part of the 85-minute show were the mocking between-song non-sequiturs, in which Beck would send a shout-out to all the SoCal towns whose names amuse him (“This one’s for North Hollywood. We don’t go for no NoHo here!”), or he’d lead the crowd in meaningless chants of “Ooh, Sassoon” and “Jordache! Turn It Up!,” sharing with the kids his obvious disdain for consumerism. Of course, his choice of country-western garb, especially the glittery square dance get-up, said volumes about his fashion sense. Maybe he should go back to the Thurston Howell/Capt. Stubing-styled mariner’s outfit he favored earlier in the year. After all, Beck is nothing if not the captain of his own bizarre ship. Troy J. Augusto

Beck

  • Production:
  • Crew:
  • Cast:
  • Music By: